In April 2014 Jamie Hancock, Timo Mullen and Jamie Hawkins travelled to the Outer Hebrides. It was another journey in the life of three passionate windsurfers. Jamie Hawkins, who is a former world champion, was responsible for the funny parts. Timo was the guy for the hard crashes and taking the biggest lips and Jamie was responsible for the best wave rides and this really nice clip. Driving up to Scotland in April 2014 paid off. The trip had the potential to be the road trip of all road trips. And it was!! The left-hander on the Isle of Lewis was firing.
The Outer Hebrides is a special place, it gets lot of wind and swell from the low pressures sweeping across the Atlantic and offloading on the west coast of Scotland. There are remote empty beaches with incredible line ups for windsurfing and surfing everywhere. You literally get the feeling of being at a theme park with no queues and free rides all day long.
Jamie Hancock about the trip to the in Isle of Lewis, Scotland, UK – Interview
Continentseven: What excites you about traveling?
Jamie Hancock: I see it as two parts really, there is the traveling and the experience of new places and cultures, and then there is the windsurfing. I appreciate that windsurfing is a purpose to travel and experience some amazing places but in all honestly the most important thing to me is the windsurfing, I just love it.
Continentseven: Are there any locations you saw and you thought, when leaving, I wanna come back immediately?
Jamie Hancock: I definitely had this feeling from the place in the video. I love it anyway and so does Timo. It is so far to travel and really easy to get the forecast wrong and end up going all that way for nothing. That’s what will keeps it so special, as no normal person would risk so much on going there. You need to be willing, a bit lucky and able to accept the worst – not really a great combo. Also, after spending so much time in Cape Town over the winter it’s always nice to come home but I do sometimes feel I’m missing out when I leave.
Continentseven: The video is so pure and probably shows what every wave windsurfer is dreaming about, especially when you are working or sitting behind your desk.
Jamie Hancock: Absolutely, I definitely dream about this stuff and would love to be able to travel the world searching for hidden gems like this. Unfortunately though it just doesn’t financially make sense because of the big chance of also scoring nothing. And in these days of windsurfing nobody has really money to waste on windsurfing trips with no windsurfing. That’s why I suppose when it all comes together you are just so happy on every level.
Continentseven: What was your first long haul flight in your windsurfing career?
Jamie Hancock: To Maui. Back then there wasn’t much windsurfing on the internet and to become a pro windsurfer it seemed you basically had to get yourself to Maui. These days more people can be recognised as a ‘pro’ by promoting themselves well online and is very different to 10 years ago when I started out. You actually had to win some contests before any sponsorship happened.
Continentseven: You are a very experienced traveller and bring windsurfing gear most of the time. Did you have any bad moments while traveling?
Jamie Hancock: I literally had the first few years with hardly any problems then one year I had an absolute shocker. Virgin Atlantic lost my gear on the way back from Cape Town and never found it again. Easyjet took so long to work out my excess fees that the baggage belts stopped and couldn’t fly which resulted in a long story and costing £800 for a one way flight to Tenerife. Air France checked me in on the way to Reunion to be called to try and repack my bag on the side of the plane whilst the passengers were looking at me through the window, my bags couldn’t fit on the small plane and had to go home and try again the next day from a different airport. The list goes on but normally things go a bit better than that.
Continentseven: You most of the time travel with friends! Do you have a long list of buddies you would travel with?
Jamie Hancock: Yeah there are too many friends that I just don’t get the chance to do fun trips with. It’s a real shame. Timo is great to travel with as we both want the same thing from the trips and don’t mind if it is starboard, port onshore or offshore, just as long as it is good, although we do look for side off spots mostly. It’s always great fun with him and is my no.1 choice travel partner.
Continentseven: You travel a lot. Have you ever thought of moving to one of the places you have discovered?
Jamie Hancock: Yea it’s a really strange feeling, but I haven’t yet found a place I would rather settle down in other than England.
Continentseven: Will we see you back on tour this season?
Jamie Hancock: I just arrived in Oregon and am traveling along the west coast with a visit to Mexico. After breaking my leg last august, the week after being ranked 9th on the PWA tour, I had a lengthy return to proper windsurfing fitness. Cape Town helped but was still way off, only now I’m really feeling back to normal… So I felt a little un prepared for the PWA events in the Canaries and decided not to do the full PWA tour like the previous 4 years. I hope to do some events after the summer but for now i’m reliving my boyhood dream of traveling this stretch of coastline.
©continentseven.com 2014, Jamie Hancock
Read more about this trip to Scotland